37 hours on flight from Equatorial Guinea bringing Vietnamese citizens home hinh anh 1Vietnam Airlines crew (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
“We’re about to go home” was something Vietnam Airlines’ flight attendants said repeatedly to Vietnamese citizens on a flight from Equatorial Guinea a couple of days ago.

After a long journey to bring more than 200 Vietnamese citizens home safely, the crew were all relieved and happy to have fulfilled an important mission.

Flight attendant Pham Xuan Truong, who was also on flights repatriating Vietnamese citizens from Germany, the Netherlands, and France, volunteered for this special flight. This one, he said, is probably the most memorable and emotional he has flown in his career.

At 1.30pm on July 28 (Equatorial Guinea time), the Airbus A350 aircraft, carrying crew members, medical staff, and health equipment, landed at Bata International Airport in Equatorial Guinea - a small facility with poor infrastructure.

It was very hot outside, Truong said, but more than 200 Vietnamese workers had waited patiently for the plane to arrive. When it landed, Truong saw Vietnamese citizens cheerfully waving and full of hope.

They had been at the terminal for some time. There were no seats, no fans, and no drinking water. They just stood around or sat on the ground, Truong said.

After the plane doors opened, more than 200 protective suits were given to passengers. When coming on board, they were warmly welcomed by crew members, showing solidarity and order in strictly implementing preventive measures.

For 22-year-old flight attendant Nguyen Anh Tuan, this was not the first time he had volunteered to work on flights bringing Vietnamese citizens home during the COVID-19 pandemic, as he earlier engaged in repatriation efforts from Germany and France. He said he will volunteer for other flights.

This special flight, he said, had five sets of protective gear for the crew. While hot to wear, all flight attendants did so.

It took a total of 37 hours to fly from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to Bata, and return.

When the plane landed in Vietnam, everyone on board was excited to be home safe and sound.

Sharing his feelings after the long flight, Tuan said he felt proud because all 219 Vietnamese citizens came back home safely.

When asked about the possibility of him catching the virus, he said he accepts the risk. “I believe in our medical staff, who have steadfastly fought the disease and treated many patients,” he said.

The 14-day quarantine at the National Hospital for Tropical Disease in Dong Anh district in Hanoi will pass quickly and everything will be fine, he said with smile./.